Atkins, Grizzlies stun Nuggets
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Chucky Atkins posted 28 points and 12 assists,
as the NBA-worst Memphis Grizzlies surprised the red-hot Denver Nuggets with a
133-118 win at the FedExForum.
Denver is the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoff race and will play
Phoenix or San Antonio in the opening round of the postseason.
Tarence Kinsey also netted a career-high 28 points for Memphis, which snapped
a six-game losing streak. Hakim Warrick notched 20 points and 11 rebounds, and
Pau Gasol had 15 points and 10 boards. Dahntay Jones also scored 15, and
Stromile Swift added 12 points off the bench.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points for the Nuggets, who had their season-high
eight-game winning streak ended. Nene posted 22 points and 10 boards, while
J.R. Smith scored 19. Allen Iverson scored 16 points and Marcus Camby added 14
points and 11 boards.
With the score deadlocked at 95, Memphis put the game away early in the fourth
with a 14-2 burst, highlighted by eight points by Atkins for a 109-101
advantage; and sealed it by going on a 9-2 spurt down the stretch. Swift’s two
free throws put the Grizzlies up 131-113 with just under a minute left, as
Memphis came away with the shocker.
Denver attained an early advantage by scoring six straight midway through the
first for a 14-9 lead, but Memphis netted six straight down the stretch
bookended by a pair of Jones buckets for a tight 31-30 Grizzlies lead heading
into the second.
After Iverson’s jumper 18 seconds into the second, the Grizzlies bolstered
their lead on an 8-0 spurt finished by an Atkins trey with 9:25 remaining, and
also on a 7-0 run sparked by a pair of Jones free throws about two minutes
later for a 47-39 lead at the midway point. Neither team gained any ground
down the stretch for a 64-56 margin at halftime.
Denver caught up on a 6-0 spurt down the third-quarter stretch, as Smith’s
trey with 3:20 to go knotted the score at 86. The teams remained tied, at 95,
heading into the fourth.
These clubs have split four games this season, but Denver has won eight of the
last 11 contests in the series…The Nuggets have also won three of their last
five at the Grizzlies.